In just two years of being, the London-based womenswear label Atea Oceanie has risen through the ranks with its clever fusion of sportswear and fashion. Armed with a refined, minimalist aesthetic and versatile silhouettes that lend themselves to many an occasion, the label is quickly becoming a must-have in the most discerning wardrobes.
'I created Atea to fulfill what I felt was missing from my own wardrobe - super wearable wardrobe essentials that feel current, but could be returned to again and again and worn in many different ways,' says the label's New Zealand-born founder/creative director Laura Myers, who has honed in on a relaxed, easy spirit. 'A sportswear aesthetic was a natural starting point for design. I think it reflects the fluidity of modern women's lives and their need to be able to move seamlessly between a variety of situations.'
For Spring/Summer 2015, Myers has incorporated a surf-inspired vibe into the collection. Sporty and carefree, yet polished and clean, the multifunctional collection is perfectly suited for city living. Utilitarian basics like sweatshirts and hoodies take on an elevated edge, thanks to the unexpected use of neoprene and reverse zipper details. More masculine silhouettes, like tailored trousers, trench coats and button-down shirts take on a feminine fluidity. Boxy silk/cotton t-shirts are embroidered for a textured yet polished finish.
Although not a sportswear brand at first glance, Atea Oceanie's sporty inclinations are most evident in its fundamentals. Myers, who worked at Saatchi and Saatchi and for designer Trelise Cooper prior to going it on her own, says, 'We spend a lot of time researching new materials and are always drawn to technical fabrics. We work a lot with an amazing lightweight Italian neoprene, as well as heritage fabrics that have been bonded with that same neoprene to give volume and structure. We also utilise body contouring seaming, as found in sportswear to give a relaxed edge to more traditional pieces.'
What results is a collection of transitional, layer-friendly pieces, imbued with a nonchalant elegance. Carried at Selfridges and New York favourite, The Line, Atea Oceanie's cool brand of insouciance is a hard combination to beat.